Dr. Harald Neidhardt

Research Assistant / Wissenschaftlicher Assistent

Contact / Kontakt:
Universität Tübingen, Forschungsbereich Geographie
Rümelinstrasse 19-23, DE-72070 Tübingen, Germany
Büro: Raum W504, Westbau
Tel.: +49-(0)7071-29-77527
E-Mail: harald.neidhardt(at)uni-tuebingen.de

Consultation hours / Sprechzeiten:  Aktuelle Sprechstundentermine SoSe19 - jeden Donnerstag von 13.15-14.15 Uhr,  mit folgenden Ausnahmen: 11.07. sowie 25.07. In der vorlesungsfreien Zeit findet keine Sprechstunde statt.  

Teaching / Lehre

Open thesis topics / zu vergebende Abschlussarbeiten (B.Sc./M.Sc./ZuLa):

Ongoing theses / laufende Abschlussarbeiten:

  • Nährstofflimitierung für Pflanzen und Boden entlang eines klimatischen Gradienten 
  • Distribution of halogens (Cl, Br, F, I) in soils and plants along a climate gradient of the Chilean Coastal Cordillera 
  • Estimating fluxes of different P pools transported by suspended solids using a combination of sequential extractions and high-frequency monitoring data
  • Characterization of P pools in floodplain sediments along a redox gradient - a case study from the Red River Delta, Vietnam

Courses / Lehrveranstaltungen:

  • GEO-98: Ökosystemprozesse (winter) → Details
  • GEO-94: Forschungsseminar → Details
  • GEO-52: Exkursion Graubünden (inkl. Begleitseminar, summer) → Details
  • GEO-46: Physische Geographie 3 (seminar course B, summer)
  • GEO-41: Analytische Methoden in Bodenkunde und Geoökologie (lab- and field exercises, summer)
  • GEO-23: Geographische Arbeitsmethoden I (lab- and field exercises, summer)

Completed theses / abgeschlossene Arbeiten:

  • Der Hohenheimer Grundwasserversuch Reloaded – Pflanzenverfügbare Nährstoffe in Grünlandböden in Abhängigkeit von Bodenfeuchte und Artenzusammensetzung 
  • Characterization of nutrient limitation to soil microbial activity along a Chilean climatic gradient
  • Charakterisierung Phosphor-angereicherter Böden und Gewässersedimente in landwirtschaftlich geprägten Einzugsgebieten am Beispiel des Ammertals
  • Impact of drought on plant-available nutrients in soils along a Chilean climatic gradient
  • Charakterisierung der Phosphor Speicherung in Fließgewässersedimenten und Böden von daran angrenzenden Gewässerrandstreifen in Neckarteileinzugsgebieten im Raum Tübingen
  • Die Reduktion der Arsenakkumulation in Nutzpflanzen durch Inokulation von Saatgut mit arbuskulären Mykorrhizapilzen. Eine Übersicht über den aktuellen Forschungsstand
  • Simulation of soil contamination due to arsenic rich irrigation water
  • Methoden zur Rekonstruktion der Besiedelungsgeschichte und Landschaftsgenese des Stuttgarter Talkessels. Analysen eines Bohrkerns am Standort des heutigen städtebaulichen Großprojekts Stuttgart 21
  • Phosphate-bound oxygen isotope ratio analysis: a novel approach to characterize reducing groundwater

Personal Background / Hintergrundinformationen

Research Statement:

My current and future research as a Geoecologist aims to improve our understanding of biogeochemical key processes controlling the spatio-temporal distribution of trace elements and nutrients (e.g., arsenic, phosphorus, iron, manganese) in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

In my research, I use a combination of innovative field experiments, methods and state of the art analytical techniques to obtain knowledge of the biogeochemical cycling of key elements and to identify and quantify their flows. Furthermore, I have great interest in the impact of human activities on environmental systems. An improved understanding of the processes that control the cycling of trace elements and nutrients in ecosystems is valuable for advancing the knowledge of our environment and is essential for preventing future hazards in a world increasingly affected by human activities.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Arsenic in drinking water resources and the food chain
  • Biogeochemical processes controlling the mobility of inorganic contaminants and nutrients
  • Stable isotopic signatures as environmental proxies
  • Enrichment and distribution of phosphorus, iron, manganese and arsenic in groundwater of SE Asia
  • Aquatic geochemistry of arsenic and phosphorus

Research Activities / Aktuelle Forschung:

  • Dynamics in Phosphorus Pools in Soils and Sediments along the Land-Freshwater Continuum of Agricultural Catchments (DFG Project)
  • Connecting the green and the grey world – an experimental approach to separating climate, vegetation and geochemical effects on nutrient cycling along a climate gradient (PI in the second phase of the DFG-SPP program 1803 Earth Shape)
  • The cycling of halides (Cl, Br, I) in soils, plants and surface waters (involved in a DFG cooperation Project)
  • Aquatic phosphorus cycling
  • Stable oxygen isotopes in phosphate: a useful tool for the characterization of reducing aquifers? 
  • Input of arsenic by irrigation: what happens in the soil-plant System?

Further Information:

  • Associate Editor for the Journal of Hydrology
  • Graduate of the university didactics program 'Baden-Württemberg-Zertifikat' of the HDZ Baden-Württemberg
  • Member of: the International Water Aid Organisation (IWAO), the German Geological Society (DGGV), the German Soil Science Association (DBG), the European Geosciences Union (EGU), and the German Association of Geoecology (VGÖD)
  • Reviews conducted for several international journals, e.g.: Applied Geochemistry, Chemosphere, Environmental Science & Technology, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Geomicrobiology Journal, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Journal of Hydrology, Science of the Total Environment, Water Research
  • Doctoral thesis honored with the Rudolf-Rohrbach-Prize and with a recognition award of the Dresdner Groundwater Prize

Publication Record / Publikationen


  • Neidhardt H., Schoeckle D., Schleinitz A., Eiche E., Berner Z. A., Trang P., Lan V., Viet P., Biswas A., Majumder A., Chatterjee D., Oelmann Y., Berg M.: Biogeochemical Phosphorus Cycling in Groundwater Ecosystems -Insights from South and Southeast Asian Floodplain and Delta Aquifers. Science of the Total Environment, 2018, 644, 1357-1370. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.07.056
  • Hauenstein S., Neidhardt H., Lang F., Krüger J., Hofmann D., Pütz T., Oelmann Y.: Organic layers favor phosphorus storage and uptake by young beech trees (Fagus sylvatica L.) at nutrient poor ecosystems. Plant and Soil, 2018, 1-13. DOI: 10.1007/s11104-018-3804-5
  • Bernhard N., Moskwa L.-M., Oeser R.A., Schmidt K., Aburto F., Bader M.Y., Baumann K., Blanckenburg F.v., Boy J., Brink L.v.d., Brucker E., Canessa R., Dippold M., Ehlers T.A., Fuentes J.P., Godoy R., Köster M., Kuzyakov Y., Leinweber P., Neidhardt H., Matus F., Mueller C.W., Oelmann Y., Oses R., Osses P., Paulino L., Schaller M., Schmid M., Spielvogel S., Spohn M., Stock S., Stroncik N., Tielbörger K., Übernickel K., Scholten T., Seguel O., Wagner D. and Kühn P.: Pedogenic and microbial interrelations to regional climate and local topography: new insights from a climate gradient (arid to humid) along the Coastal Cordillera of Chile. Catena, 2018, 175, 335-355. DOI: 10.1016/j.catena.2018.06.018
  • Neidhardt H., Winkel L.H.E., Kaegi R., Stengel C., Trang P.T.K., Lan V.M., Viet P.H., Berg M.: Insights into arsenic retention dynamics of Pleistocene aquifer sediments by in situ sorption experiments. 2018, Water Research, 129, 123-132. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b02097
  • Rawson J., Siade A., Sun J., Neidhardt H., Berg M., Prommer H.: Quantifying reactive transport processes governing arsenic mobility after injection of reactive organic carbon into a Bengal Bay aquifer. 2017, Environmental Science & Technology, 51 (15), 8471–8480. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b02097
  • Rathi B., Neidhardt H., Berg M., Siade A., Prommer H.: Processes governing arsenic retardation on Pleistocene sediments: Adsorption experiments and model‐based analysis. 2017, Water Resources Research, 53 (5), 4344–4360. DOI: 10.1002/2017WR020551
  • Majumder S., Datta S., Nath B., Neidhardt H., Sarkar S., Roman-Ross G., Berner Z., Hidalgo M., Chatterjee D., Chatterjee D.: Monsoonal influence on variation of hydrochemistry and isotopic signatures: implications for associated arsenic release in groundwater. Journal of Hydrology, 2016, 535, 407-414. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2016.01.052
  • Neidhardt H., Kramar U., Tang X., Guo H., Norra S.: Arsenic accumulation in the roots of Helianthus annuus and Zea mays by irrigation with arsenic-rich groundwater: insights from synchrotron X-ray fluorescence imaging. Chemie der Erde - Geochemistry, 2015, 75, 261-270. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemer.2015.04.001
  • Biswas A., Neidhardt H., Kundu A.K., Halder D., Chatterjee D., Berner Z., Jacks G., Bhattacharya P.: Spatial, vertical and temporal variation of arsenic in shallow aquifers of the Bengal Basin: Controlling geochemical processes. Chemical Geology, 2014, 387, 157-169. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2014.08.022
  • Neidhardt H., Berner Z.A., Freikowski D., Biswas A., Majumder S., Winter J., Gallert C., Chatterjee D., Norra S.: Organic carbon induced mobilization of iron and manganese in a West Bengal aquifer and the muted response of groundwater arsenic concentrations. Chemical Geology, 2014, 367, 51-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2013.12.021
  • Biswas A., Gustafsson J.P., Neidhardt H., Dipti H., Kundu A.K., Chatterjee D., Berner Z., Bhattacharya P.: Role of competing ions in the mobilization of arsenic in groundwater of Bengal Basin: Insight from surface complexation modeling. Water Research, 2014, 55, 30-39. DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2014.02.002
  • Neidhardt H., Berg M., Stengel C., Winkel L.H.E., Kaegi R., Trang P.T.K., Lan V.T.M., Thao M.T.P., Viet P.H.: Arsenic adsorption on iron mineral phases under reducing conditions: Results from an in-situ field experiment. One Century of the Discovery of Arsenicosis in Latin America (1914-2014) As2014: Proceedings of the 5th International Congress on Arsenic in the Environment, May 11-16, 2014, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2014 CRC Press. Link
  • Neidhardt H., Berner Z., Freikowski D., Biswas A., Winter J., Chatterjee D., Norra S.: Influences of groundwater abstraction on the distribution of dissolved As in shallow aquifers of West Bengal, India. Journal of Hazardous Materials, Special Issue: Ecotoxicology of Arsenic, 2013, 262 (15), 941–950. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2013.01.044
  • Neidhardt H., Berner Z., Freikowski D., Biswas A., Winter J., Chatterjee D.: Reconstructing the sedimentation history of the Bengal Delta Plain by means of geochemical and stable isotopic data. Applied Geochemistry, 2013, 36, 70-82. DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2013.06.017
  • Freikowski D., Neidhardt H., Winter J., Berner Z., Gallert C.: Effect of carbon sources and of sulfate on microbial arsenic mobilization in sediments of West Bengal, India. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 2013, 91, 139-146. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2013.01.021
  • Neidhardt H., Norra S., Tang X., Guo H., Stüben D.: Impact of irrigation with high arsenic burdened groundwater on the soil-plant system: Results from a case study in the Inner Mongolia, China. Environmental Pollution, 2012, 163, 8-13. DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2011.12.033
  • Biswas A., Majumder S., Neidhardt H., Halder D., Bhowmick S., Mukherjee Goswami A., Kundu A., Saha D., Berner Z., Chatterjee D.: Groundwater chemistry and redox processes: Depth dependent arsenic release mechanism. Applied Geochemistry, 2011, 26 (4), 516-525. DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2011.01.010

Other Publications:

  • Bernhard, N., Moskwa, L.-M., Schmidt, K., Oeser, R.A., Aburto, F., Bader, M.Y., Baumann, K., von Blanckenburg, F., Boy, J., van den Brink, L., Brucker, E., Büdel, B., Canessa, R., Dippold, M.A., Ehlers, T.A., Fuentes, J.P., Godoy, R., Jung, P., Karsten, U., Köster, M., Kuzyakov, Y., Leinweber, P., Neidhardt, H., Matus, F., Mueller, C.W., Oelmann, Y., Oses, R., Osses, P., Paulino, L., Samolov, E., Schaller, M., Schmid, M., Spielvogel, S., Spohn, M., Stock, S., Stroncik, N., Tielbörger, K., Übernickel, K., Scholten, T., Seguel, O., Wagner, D., Kühn, P., 2018. Data supplement to “Pedogenic and microbial interrelations to regional climate and local topography: New insights from a climate gradient (arid to humid) along the Coastal Cordillera of Chile”. In: GFZ Data Services, DOI: 10.5880/GFZ.5.3.2018.001
  • Majumder S., Biswas A., Neidhardt H., Sarkar S., Berner Z., Bhowmick S., Mukherjee A., Chatterjee D., Chakraborty S., Nath B., Chatterjee D.: Chapter 11: An Insight into the Spatio-vertical Heterogeneity of Dissolved Arsenic in Part of the Bengal Delta Plain Aquifer in West Bengal (India). In: Ramanathan A., Johnston S., Mukherjee A., Nath B. (Eds.): Safe and Sustainable Use of Arsenic-Contaminated Aquifers in the Gangetic Plain: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Springer, 2015, 161-177. ISBN 978-3-319-16123-5. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-16124-2_11
  • Neidhardt H.: Arsenic in groundwater of West Bengal: Implications from a field study. Karlsruher Mineralogische und Geochemische Hefte, Schriftenreihe des Instituts für Mineralogie und Geochemie, KIT Scientific Publishing, 2012, ISBN 978-3-86644-941-1. DOI: 10.5445/KSP/1000030868
  • Neidhardt, H.: Arsen im Grundwasser - ein Fallbeispiel aus West Bengalen, Indien. Forum der Geoökologie, 2010, 21 (3), 32-36. Link

Conference Contributions:

  • 2018: Investigating the Contamination of Groundwater Resources with Arsenic – A case study from Vietnam. Symposium Umweltrisiken in der Wasserforschung – Inter- und transdisziplinäre Bewertungen und Perspektiven, Karlsruhe, Germany.
  • 2018: Insights into the Biogeochemical Cycling of Phosphorus in Reducing Aquifers of South and South East Asian Floodplain and Delta Regions. EGU General Assembly 2018, Vienna, Austria.
  • 2017: Soil Contamination due to Arsenic-Enriched Irrigation Water – Impact of Irrigation Practices. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Bodenkundlichen Gesellschaft , Göttingen, Germany.
  • 2017: Connecting the green and the grey world. EarthShape participant meeting, Tübingen, Germany.
  • 2016: Phosphate-bound Oxygen Isotope Ratio Analysis: A New Tool for the Characterization of Phosphorus Cycling in Anoxic Groundwater. Presented at the 8th International Phosphorus Workshop (IPW8), Rostock, Germany.
  • 2015: As sorption behavior on iron phases at a transitioning redox front. Presentation at the 25th Goldschmidt Conference, Prague, Czech Republic.
  • 2014: Arsenic adsorption on iron mineral phases under reducing conditions: Results from an in-situ field experiment. Oral presentation at the 5th Congress on Arsenic in the Environment, Buenos Aires, Argentinia.
  • 2012: Arsenic – from groundwater into soils, plants and the food chain. Complementary case studies from West Bengal, Inner Mongolia and the Red River Delta. Oral presentation at the 4th Congress on Arsenic in the Environment, Cairns, Australia.
  • 2011: Characterization of two arsenic groundwater monitoring sites in West Bengal, India. Poster presented at the Arsenic 2011 workshop in Leipzig, Germany.
  • 2011: Characterization of the Chakdah Block, Nadia district. Oral and poster presentation at the ICDP supported IDRAs workshop in Hanoi, Vietnam.
  • 2011: Biogeochemical mobilization of arsenic from aquifer sediments in West Bengal, India. Poster presented at the VAAM annual meeting in Karlsruhe, Germany.
  • 2010: Arsenic mobilization into groundwater in West Bengal, India by sucrose injection. Oral presentation at the GEO 2010 conference in Darmstadt, Germany.
  • 2010: Temporal and spatial variations of geogenic arsenic in an aquifer in West Bengal, India. Oral presentation at the 3rd International Congress on Arsenic in the Environment in Tainan, Taiwan.
  • 2008: Neidhardt H., Norra S., Stüben D., Guo H.: Case study on arsenic enrichment in field soil and food chain in an arsenic affected area in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China. Poster presented at the Eurosoil conference in Vienna, Austria.

Curriculum vitae

Since 2014:
Scientific Assistant

Geooecology Research Group of Prof. Dr. Yvonne Oelmann, Institute of Geography, Department of Geosciences, University of Tübingen

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Group of Michael Berg, Department of Water Resources and Drinking Water, Eawag, Dübendorf, Switzerland

Research Assistant

Institute of Geography and Geoecology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany

PhD student and Research Assistant

Institute of Mineralogy and Geochemistry, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany

Study of Geoecology (Diploma)

University of Karlsruhe (since 2008 Karlsruhe Institute of Technology), Karlsruhe, Germany

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